The proposed neural mechanisms supporting blindsight, the above-chance performance of cortically blind patients on forced-choice visual discrimination tasks, are controversial. In this article, we show that although subjects were unable to perceive foveally presented visual stimuli when transcranial magnetic stimulation over the visual cortex induced a scotoma, responses nonetheless were delayed significantly by these unconscious distractors in a directed saccade but not in an indirect manual response task. These results suggest that the superior colliculus, which is involved with sensory encoding as well as with the generation of saccadic eye movements, is mediating the unconscious processing of the transcranial magnetic stimulation-suppressed distractors and implicate a role of the retinotectal pathway in many blindsight phenomena.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 29 Jun 2004|
- Visual cortex